If you are looking to travel back in time to Prenzlauer Berg in 1993, this short movie from Hannes Stöhr might be one of the best ways to go there. A short trip back into a neighborhood that was still, somewhat, divided between East and West Berlin.
Called El Pistolero, this is a spontaneous short movie shot on the rare Super 8 black and white film. Directed by Hannes Stöhr, famous for Berlin Calling and One Day in Europe, during the early nineties. This movie is, according to the director, horribly shot and edited. When you watch it, you will agree as well.
But we are not here to talk about El Pistolero, we are here to talk about the scenery. We are here to talk about how Prenzlauer Berg in 1993 used to look like.
We don’t remember the old police station on Schönhauser Allee because it was long gone when we moved to Berlin in 2012. But we saw pictures of it and it looked like what we imagined East Germany would look like. Another sight that caught our eye in the movie is the supermarket at Winsstraße. The Kaiser’s supermarket in the corner with its old logo and prices in Deutsche marks is where a chaotic scene happens that gets a few men to their toes. The roof top in the final scene belongs to Marienburger Str. 8.
In the end, this short movie from Hannes Stöhr brings us like a time machine into a different Berlin. A Berlin where spontaneous short movies were being shot in Prenzlauer Berg, a neighborhood that was still chaotic and not the gentrified place that it is today.
If you are curious about the music in the background of El Pistolero, it is called Inordertodance by Housemeister and, even though this is not our style of music, it fits really well into the overall vibe from that time in Berlin. It was only added in 2008 by the director but it improved the movie with it’s nineties anarchist vibe.
This is the Berlin we grow up reading about and that we wanted to visit so much. Too bad we got to the city a little bit too late but we are here to enjoy what we can.